Our new office space and neighborhoodAugust 06, 2014
For the past five years, FMYI was located inside of The Leftbank Project on North Broadway, near the Moda Center. Although FMYI loved being in such a creative space with a vibrant community, it was time for a change given our growth over the past year. FMYI’s move to North Williams Avenue in May has brought new life to the worklife experience, including a larger floor plan with an abundance of natural light, a glass enclosed conference room, and the proximity to many local restaurants.
The building is a collaboration between a group of architects and designers who also own the property. Careful attention to detail by the architects and development team is evident throughout the entire building and infrastructure, including their commitment to sustainability (covered bike parking area, walls made of continuous mineral wool insulation to promote greater indoor air quality, high efficiency heat pumps, large windows to cut down on artificial lighting, and LED light fixtures to cut down on energy consumption).
Here are just a few of our favorite things about our new digs:
The bigger space/open floor plan
With our new office space, we have a lot more room to move around. The workspace is almost double the size of our previous location and has a beautiful open floor plan. Due to the size, open floor plan and great location, we are excited to be able to hold more community events in the office. We were already able to host our annual FMYI Summit, our 10th anniversary party, as well as several World Cup and Tour de France viewing parties with our families and friends. In the future, we plan on hosting local tech and B Corp meetings, cycling team gatherings, and community events.
The functional design allows us to have three different zones: a perimeter of desks for getting work done, a bar and lounge area for collaboration, and a conference room for a little extra privacy. The desks are located near the large windows and skylights that extend down to the floor, letting in tons of natural sunlight, which not only makes long days a lot easier on the eyes, but also strengthens productivity. The bar table in the middle of the office is made from sustainably harvested wood from Indonesia by Tropical Salvage, and doubles as a chess table for the ongoing battle between Peter and Eric. The lounge area has a couch and several chairs for when we need to video chat with the team or have casual conversations with clients and friends. The conference room comes in handy for when we need a quiet spot to meet up, work independently or take phone calls.
With all this new space, we had to go out and buy some new furniture and decorations to spruce the place up! We added some color and flair with retro style furniture, Annalisa’s air plants and of course the huge Aflac ducks that hang out in the corner.
We could be here all day listing the restaurant and coffee options within mere blocks of the office. For starters, we have Lardo, Frice Pastry, and Phillipe’s Bread as our downstairs neighbors; making it quite difficult to turn down a delicious sandwich or salad just about every day. On top of that, a couple blocks away are a few Portland area staples Kenny and Zukes, Tasty and Sons, Cha Cha Cha, Lompoc, Las Primas, and many more. And Mississippi Street eateries are dangerously close as well.
However, the lunch options are hardly the only reason we love our new neighborhood so much; the community is also home to some terrific non-profits and community groups, like Self Enhancement Inc., who we’ve been working with over the past year. It’s no secret that gentrification is a hot topic in Portland, especially given the recent development in our neighborhood and the past history of how African Americans have been affected. Recent readers of the blog will remember that SEI is a nonprofit educational organization in North Portland supporting at-risk urban youth through educational programs. It helps thousands of students and their families each year in the greater Portland, Oregon area. We’ve given talks on entrepreneurship and STEM education, helped with their School Supplies Drive, and are hosting an intern who is a graduate of the SEI program this summer.
Looking ahead to the future
While some office projects remain unfinished, we are quite happy with our move to North Williams. We hope to start integrating the company’s history into artwork as well as adding a wallpaper-style cycling team photo into our conference room. We look forward to many more years of building this into a special place that will serve as a launching point for our growth and for our work in the community. Come on by and give us a visit when you have a chance!